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hand and on piano keys

A Lesson in Music


By Alastair Reid

Oases: Poems and prose

Play the tune again: but this time

with more regard for the movement at the source of it

and less attention to time. Time falls

curiously in the course of it.

Play the tune again: not watching

your fingering, but forgetting, letting flow

the sound till it surrounds you. Do not count

or even think. Let go.

Play the tune again: but try to be

nobody, nothing, as though the pace

of the sound were your heart beating, as though

the music were your face.

Play the tune again. It should be easier

to think less every time of the notes, of the measure.

It is all an arrangement of silence. Be silent, and then

play it for your pleasure.

Play the tune again; and this time, when it ends,

do not ask me what I think. Feel what is happening

strangely in the room as the sound glooms over

you, me, everything.


play the tune again.

Reflections on Piano

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